Two Poems I Wrote Last Year
categories: unquiet things
I have written poetry for most of my life, but I don’t always share it. I used to actually attend and participate in poetry readings in my twenties, if you can believe that! Since that time I’ve gotten more shy and squirrelly and self-conscious and I can’t imagine doing that now, but if I can’t share my efforts on my blog, then what is this space even for?
This first one is something that I actually had submitted somewhere, but I don’t think they are going to use it, so oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The second one is just something I’ve been thinking about for years and years–it’s actually something that happened at a poetry reading!
Something about the moon but it is always my mother
This moon how
these many years gone.
Will I weep when
the looking glass
your reflection clouds
and a moon is just a moon
and mourning is only
soaking the pads of cat feet
and there are no more mirrors
on the cusp of a night in autumn
when on the morning
your photograph has finally
begun to fade.
Untitled; a sandwich; my heart
I recall an old woman, on stage,
a local poet’s society meeting.
A line she spoke aloud aloud from her recent writings,
an ode to her husband. Her beloved’s face likened
to a smear of yellow mustard
trimming a sandwich she’d eaten in a deli in Brooklyn
long before I was born.
Long before I knew there were places like Brooklyn
and a world of sandwiches.
Long before I knew how good a sandwich could be
in a space where you felt safe
with someone you loved.
I recall the kiss he gave her after our gathering dispersed–
in the strip mall parking lot, under the sodium lamps.
A tender thing. Lingering. Soft.
In the grainy warmth of those yellow lights,
he did look a bit mustardy.
And I envied the many sandwiches between them.
I should have been embarrassed by my hungry gaze
but could not look away, and as he held her wobbling elbow
slowly searching for their parking spot.
I wondered then, at the heat in my face,
and who might one day sigh and smile and
describe my cheeks in terms of cured meat
and blushing salami.
Melissa Kojima says
They're both beautiful. Thanks for sharing them.
S. Elizabeth says
Oh, thank you for saying so! I didn't expect many people were going to see this (mostly because I wasn't sure if I should even be posting it, and so I didn't share it the way I normally do!) I appreciate, as ALWAYS, the kind words and encouragement.
I love these both so much. Thank you for letting us share in them!